Thursday, October 10, 2019

Using Reggae to Fight Inflation

See ‘Keep de Rates dem Low’—Jamaica Sets Inflation Fight to Reggae Beat: Central bank calls on music stars to record upbeat songs explaining inflation targeting, monetary policy and consistent GDP growth by Robbie Whelan. If you go to the article, you can watch one of the music videos. Excerpt:
"KINGSTON, Jamaica—Call it Reggaenomics.

As a drumbeat eases the listener into a familiar reggae rhythm, the high tenor of Jamaican pop star Tarrus Riley cuts through the groove.

All the high prices that mean me harm  
They can go back where they came from
No inflation monster
Shall prosper!

Mr. Riley looks into the camera and explains in Jamaican patois: “High inflation is a wicked ting, and we must banish it like slavery….Low, stable and predictable inflation is to the economy like what the bass line is to reggae music.”

The Bank of Jamaica has launched what may be the grooviest public-education campaign ever undertaken by a central bank.

Over the past year, the bank called on local pop stars to record upbeat songs in reggae and dancehall styles and to produce YouTube music videos explaining such buzz-killing concepts as inflation targeting, monetary policy and consistent GDP growth.

One video features a woman tooling around the capital in a sports car while a singer sings about how inflation targeting can help boost the economy.

Keep de rates dem low, stable and intact
So de consumers can buy more good wit dem cash!
Next up for the central bank: a single and music video inspired by dancehall star Sean Paul’s 2005 hit “Temperature,” featuring what the bank hopes will become a viral craze called the Inflation Dance.

The campaign is the brainchild of Tony Morrison, a former hotel talent booker and television reporter who now serves as the central bank’s head of communications. He says he has wanted for years to marry reggae and monetary policy, and finally got the go ahead from the administration of Andrew Holness, elected prime minister in 2016.

“We wanted to have some songs about changes to our foreign-exchange reserves policy a few years ago, but in the end decided it was too complicated,” Mr. Morrison says. “Things like inflation targeting, however, are the type of things that everyone should know about, and the best way to reach the people of Jamaica is through reggae.”"

"Behind Jamaica’s playful strategy is a serious goal: to build public support for a government policy designed to bring economic stability to a country that has long been a financial basket case."
"Central banks around the world are straining to capture the public’s imagination with rap videos, festivals and cod-themed bank notes."


Salvador Sandoval said...

In case anyone wants to hear/listen to Tarrus Riley's song about the high inflation in Jamaica!

Cyril Morong said...

Thanks for the link!